Sites You Didn’t Know You Needed
by Karen Bries
Learn about sites to help your practice and your life.
We hope that by now you’ll know to go to the cobar.org Web site or the ABA’s techshow.com for substantive legal information. But here are some sites borrowed from Reba Nance and Mel Reveles at the CBA that will help improve your life and add some interest to practicing law:
Anybirthday.com This site is a great fact checker, birthday reminder and a good reality-check for those of you who don’t think your personal information is on the Web. Type in your best friend’s or worst enemy’s first and last name and his or her ZIP code if you know it. This person’s birthday will probably be there. As Reba Nance, CBA law office technology department guru says, "All it takes is a birthday to unlock a whole lot of information about you." Breathe deeply. It’s okay; people may use this site as a handy birthday reminder and buy you a bunch of gifts on your special day. It will also keep you out of the doghouse by sending you reminders of when your friends’ birthdays are.
Dogbitelaw.com We did have to throw a few law related things in. Believe it or not, the bar association gets calls about dog bites every now and again. Look at this site, but you can always still call us. This is where attorneys find laws, journalists find statistics and parents get information about protecting their children. It talks about the Diane Whipple case, "the most unusual case in dog bite history."
Cobar.org Yes, we must plug ourselves. We get many calls from people wanting to place free job announcements. Go to the "Diversity of the Legal Profession" Web page and post your listing. It’s free and easy. You can also look at The Colorado Lawyer monthly classified ads. The ads are sorted into the often-seen office space and employment sections, but also have headings under office sharing, donated books, legal recruiters and contract work opportunities.
Refdesk.com will give you thousands of reference sites to search in a click. News, encyclopedias, almanacs and quotes. For kids, there’s even a homework helper and an "astronomy picture of the day" such as Young Martian Terrain with a description.
FBI.gov/hq/lab/handbook/intro.htm Whether you’re an aspiring crime novelist or you just want to know how the FBI researches something, try this site. It will tell you how forensic evidence is prepared and how crime scenes are investigated.
Flighttracker.com will show where grandma is on her flight from Connecticut to Colorado. It tracks the plane’s movements and gives a graphic map of what city her plane is flying over at this exact point in time.
Plagiarism.com Scan the text of a document into this software, and the software will let you know if anyone has used someone else’s poetic prose. This was started to keep college kids from trading their term papers online. It does cost some money, but there is a free trial.
Mtnds.com will help you decipher acronyms, mostly for those weird computer errors that pop up. What’s BIOS or RAM? If you care, you can search this site.
http://www-sci.lib.uci.edu/HSG/RefCalculators.html Whisk away to a world of calculators, and you don’t even have to be a nerd to enjoy it. There are catch-all calculators for mortgages, interest rates and currency conversions, but the old razzle dazzle comes when you calculate how much to feed livestock, what capacity your meeting room can hold or the amount of life insurance you will need. You can even figure out how much it will cost to launch a marketing campaign.
Mentalhealth.com is good for looking up psychiatric drugs and diagnosing different kinds of psychological disorders. Try diagnosing your boss or that nagging mother of yours. Realize that they may have more problems than you think.
Infoctr.edu/fwl is the federal Web locator with links to every kind of federal Web site, from bureaucracies like the National Mediation Board, Office of Special Counsel and the Peace Corps to more interesting sites like the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Coordination Office for High-Performance Computing and Communications (Be glad you don’t work there. Be very glad).
Zagat.com If you are out of town and need a restaurant recommendation, try this site. It will sort by neighborhood, cuisine type or alphabetically. Insightful reviews and a chance to vote on your favorite restaurant are also an option. Be sure to click on the symbol that looks like a key, so that you understand what Zagat’s ratings are based on.
mailstart.com To gain access to your existing e-mail accounts (must be POP3) then look no further than MailStart. MailStart can be customized to access your existing email accounts. In other words, you can take your work e-mail, your home e-mail and any other accounts you may have and get your mail from one box at Mailstart. There is a free demo but they encourage you to pay the $10 a month to subscribe.
cobar.org/hotlinks.htm Just when you thought we were done plugging ourselves, we weren’t. We also didn’t want to leave you in a lurch without some legal research sites. The Colorado Bar Association’s "Hotlinks" site is a catch-all for legal research. You’ll get federal and state resources, commercial legal services, forms and contracts, international resources, legal libraries, legal software and the rest of the list is endless. Don’t overlook this exhaustive resource tool, courtesy your favorite association.
Special thanks go to Mel Reveles and Reba Nance at the Colorado Bar Association for letting us plagiarize some programs they often present for CLE credits! You can find these Web sites and more at www.cobar.org.
Do you have a site that sets your mind at ease or gives you the answers you’re looking for? If so, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll publish them in The Docket.